Artistic swimmer rescued at world titles
American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was in danger of drowning after losing consciousness in the pool at the world championships in Budapest before being rescued by her coach Andrea Fuentes.
Spaniard Fuentes, a four-time Olympic medallist in synchronised swimming, jumped into the pool after she saw Alvarez sink to the bottom at the end of her solo free final routine on Wednesday.
She was given medical attention beside the pool before being taken away on a stretcher.
It was the second time Fuentes has had to rescue Alvarez after she leapt into the pool during an Olympic qualification event last year and pulled her to safety along with the American's swim partner Lindi Schroeder.
"Anita is much better, she is already at her best. It was a good scare, to be honest," Fuentes told Spanish newspaper Marca on Wednesday.
"I jumped into the water again because I saw that no one, no lifeguard, was jumping in. I got a little scared because she wasn't breathing, but now she's fine. She has to rest."
In a statement on the US Artistic Swimming Instagram page, Fuentes said 25-year-old Alvarez would be assessed by doctors on Thursday before a decision was made on her participation in Friday's team event.
"Anita is OK - the doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc... all is OK.
"We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports.
"Marathon, cycling, cross country... we all have seen images where some athletes don't make it to the finish line and others help them to get there.
"Our sport is no different than others, just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them.
"Anita feels good now and the doctors also say she is OK.
"Tomorrow she will rest all day and will decide with the doctor if she can swim free team finals or not. Thank you for all of your well wishes for Anita."
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